Early voters brave long wait times on first day

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How to avoid record-breaking lines while voting early (KTRK)

With more than 67,000 people turning out in Harris County alone, the first day of early voting reportedly shattered records.

Some voters waited in line for hours to make sure their voice and vote were heard.

For most of the day, the line to get in the door at Kyle Chapman Activity Center in Pasadena was way out into the parking lot.

Everyone we spoke with said they waited more than two hours.

Closer to three in some cases.

"We've been at this place before, and it's taken an hour, maybe an hour-fifteen," says Dolores Hernandez. "I was surprised for it being the first day that it took this long."

Voters saw the problem as soon as they got inside. According to many, there were plenty of voting machines, but only three workers checking voters in to use the machines.

"I think it could've moved a little faster. They could've had more people to process voters to the booth," Glenn Arnold, a voter, said after his two-hour-45-minute wait.

Long waits were also reported in Fort Bend County. We spoke with one couple as they left the First Colony voting precinct in Sugar Land.

WHEN AND WHERE: Harris County early voting locations and schedule (PDF)

"Too crowded. And we have an option to go to Randall's in New Territory so we're going to give that a shot," Bob Stefans said.

We're told some delays were caused by some voters not being prepared when they got to the front of the line. Also, some are showing up to vote in person who had requested a mail-in ballot.

Those take much longer to process if said voters don't have their mail-in ballot with them to turn in.

Here are a few tips that can save you some time.

Election officials In Harris County say trying "newer" locations is a safe bet to get in and out faster. Some lighter precincts are the Galleria and Harris County Public Health Building.

And a spokesman for the Fort Bend County Elections office says the first Wednesday is historically the slowest day of the entire early voting period.

So you may have some luck getting in and out then on that day if you're comfortable waiting a couple of days.

"There are people dying for our country right now. Standing in line for a couple of hours is a small price to pay," says Paul Bullock.

For a full list of things you need to know for early voting, check out the following:

Early voting in Harris County: What you need to know
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